Use Your Mental Faculty of Reason
The job of the mental faculty of reason is to evaluate, analyze and compare ideas. This is the mental faculty that we are fully aware of. It is what we use when we have to make a decision, and to weigh things and situations. This is what we use when we are comparing Brand X from Brand Y. It is also what we utilize when we make excuses or alibis.
Reason is similar to rationalization but not the same as logic. Logic is a means of reasoning, but is not reason itself. Reason can be illogical and can be based on a set of false assumptions or untested results. (Burke, J. 2010).
Understanding the Mental Faculty of Reason
This reasoning faculty enables you to think whether what you heard from a colleague or have read from an article is correct. It decides whether what you see or hear is the truth. The reasoning faculty also draws from your past experiences or norms you were conditioned to follow to decide on whether what you thought about is true, false, possible or impossible.
The mental faculty of reason is all about the truth; but more often than not, what we see as the ‘truth’ is a matter of choice. We tend to see the gossip shared by a colleague about another person as the truth, simply because we don’t like the person he/she is talking about. The story might not be true but we CHOSE to see it otherwise because our rather illogical reasoning tells that it’s okay to believe false stories of people we don’t like.
How We Use the Mental Faculty of Reason in Our Daily Lives
The same is true with how we see paths to success. We have been conditioned to accept that the path to success in life is this: getting high grades in school and graduating with a degree will ensure a path to wealth and financial security. We were conditioned to believe that those with lower grades have fewer capabilities for comprehension or that those with no degrees have less knowledge. They have fewer chances of becoming successful.
Most people with low grades or without college degrees operate in this way of thinking. They believed this is reasonable because their parents, the media or the people around them conditioned them this way. If you have a higher sense of awareness though, you will see that your grades or lack of college degree is not a hindrance to becoming successful in life.
Conditioned reasoning tells us that a cripple cannot join a running marathon, yet there are athletes who have only one leg. It tells us that a deaf person will not be able to play the piano, yet Beethoven was able to compose classical piano pieces. Conditioned reasoning tells us that a person with no pair of hands cannot paint, yet you’ve seen inspiring documentaries where a person with no pair of hands uses his mouth or feet to paint landscapes and abstract paintings. These inspiring people did not limit themselves to the same level of thinking as ours.
Conscious and Subconscious Reason
Reason operates on the conscious level of our minds. But aside from analyzing, comparing and evaluating ideas, it also has the capability to combine all the ideas and information you have in your head to come up with new ideas! You can create, develop, make or do something new based on this new idea and your reasoning faculty can help you choose wisely (Hopper, W.n.d.). Your reason supports this new idea because it is based on the information or idea that you already have.
The subconscious mind only takes the idea and puts it into action. There will be instances when your life experiences and beliefs would get in the way of this new idea. There will be times when the people around you won’t support this new idea. Search for ways, materials, articles and resources that will tell your reasoning faculty that your idea is possible, doable or achievable.
How Jesus Used the Mental Faculty of Reason
Our reasoning faculty is the mental tool we think with. You can think whatever you want (Proctor, B. 2013). We were conditioned to think that some things are right or wrong, acceptable or unacceptable. However, our reasoning faculty can also CHOOSE not to think about following the norm as long as this does not harm you or anybody.
This reminded me of the encounters Jesus had with the Pharisees who follow the law without really thinking about it. Jesus had a reasoning faculty that wasn’t limited to the laws of His days. He would get into a debate with the Pharisees and the Pharisees would test Him before the crowd. Jesus’ reasoning was different from everybody else’s thinking. He could give an answer that would inspire the crowd and astonish the Pharisees.
Use Your Mental Faculty of Reason to Succeed
Develop your mental faculty of reason by really thinking about the goals you desire rather than those that someone else thinks is right for you (Simona, R. 2010).
Don’t limit your ideas to what others think is a good idea. Don’t easily agree with what everybody else is saying. Validate it, seek the truth. Refuse to let your grades, lack of college degree or disability get in the way of what you want to achieve.